San Luis Obispo, usually referred to as "SLO" for short, is a lovely city amidst the Santa Lucia Mountains and the Pacific Ocean on California's central coast. SLO is one of California's oldest communities and sports a rich history, with landmarks dating back to the Spanish colonial era, such as the iconic Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa. The city boasts a vibrant cultural scene, with its quaint downtown area featuring art galleries, a bustling farmers' market, unique boutiques, and a charming assortment of cafes and restaurants.
With a sun-drenched and mild Mediterranean climate, San Luis Obispo
is surrounded by world-class wineries and breathtaking outdoor scenery, making it a paradise for wine enthusiasts and nature lovers. The city is also home to a bustling culinary scene, and below, we take you on a gastronomic journey through top-tier restaurants representing the best fine dining in San Luis Obispo.
Koberl at Blue
998 Monterey St, San Luis Obispo, CA
An exquisite blend of Californian and European cuisine, Koberl at Blue offers an unmatched rustic yet elegant, brick-walled ambiance. Try the linguine with sauteed veal, served with mushrooms, spiced, and tomatoes in marsala cream sauce, or the herb-roasted halibut, paired with wild mushroom raviolo, sauteed spinach, basil vermouth sauce, and melted tomatoes. The herb-roasted Colorado rack of lamb, with its potato mushroom gratin and broccolini with toasted almonds, is another crowd-pleaser. For dessert, try the seasonal fruit cobbler with granola crunch crust and vanilla creme fraiche ice cream. The extensive wine list is impressive, and a recipient of a Wine Spectator award of excellence.
Ox and Anchor at Hotel San Luis Obispo
877 Palm St, San Luis Obispo, CA
Ox and Anchor is a beloved, high-end steak house in the Hotel San Luis Obispo, offering unparalleled cuts of beef paired with the finest local Central California wines. For an appetizer everyone will enjoy, try the bone marrow tater "tots," crafted with bone marrow, russet potatoes, scallions, and rich horseradish creme fraiche. The ten-ounce cut of Snake River Farms Kobe beef is a crowd-pleaser, as is the top prime sirloin. For dessert, diners love doughnuts and ice cream crafted from homemade doughnuts, pistachio ice cream, lemon curd, and chantilly.
Nate's on Marsh
450 Marsh St, San Luis Obispo, CA
Outside downtown San Luis Obispo, high-end restaurant Nate's on Marsh combines charm with culinary excellence. It is located in a converted home residence and excludes a welcoming ambiance. The La Scala salad is an appetizer many consider a must, with a mix of shredded iceberg lettuce, scrumptious salami, artichoke hearts, and baked chickpeas, all combined with a red wine vinaigrette. The restaurant's staple, the hand-cut pappardelle featuring Tablas Creek lamb ragu and walnut gremolata, enjoys prominence at every table.
Alex Madonna's Gold Rush Steakhouse
100 Madonna Rd, San Luis Obispo, CA
Nothing says fine dining and top-quality steak like Alex Madonna's Gold Rush Steakhouse in the Madonna Inn, offering steaks uniquely prepared over an oak-wood pit. The one-of-a-kind ambiance is ornate and elegant, featuring brightly colored, upholstered booths. The thick-cut, slow-roasted prime rib of beef, served au just-style beneath creamy horseradish, remains a favorite. Diners also go for the incredibly marbled ribe eye cut and spring lamb chops, barbequed over the oak-wood pit and resulting in tender, sweet flavor you have to taste to believe.
Goshi Japenese Restaurant
570 Higuera St #155, San Luis Obispo, CA
Goshi Japenese Restaurant is a celebration of high-end service and authentic, unparalleled Japanese cuisine. The menu is an emblem of dedication to bonafide sushi and sashimi fare. Go for the soft shell crab roll, with deep fried soft sell crab, cucumber, and burdock, on the inside and topped with bonito flakes above, or the freshwater eel roll topped with a freshwater reel and eel sauce and containing avocado and cucumber. Sake should be noticed; ask your server to recommend a bottle of cold or hot sake to pair with your meal.
570 Higuera St, San Luis Obispo, CA
Mistura delivers an explosion of Peruvian flavors made with house-grown, organic produce ingredients. The restaurant offers a variety of unique dishes, such as ravioli de champignon, created from homemade shiitake and portobello mushroom ravioli, light cognac sauce, and enriched by truffle oil and shavings of black truffle. The ravioli di langosta is also well regarded, consisting of homemade ravioli stuffed with Maine lobster, which is sauteed in white wine creme and aji Amarillo sauce.
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